Mugshot of Jerry Lee Scott
Photo: Cobb County Sheriff's Office
Photo: Cobb County Sheriff's Office

Cobb dad admits drunken crash that left daughter, 7, brain damaged

While a 7-year-old Austell girl recovers from a cracked skull, partial paralysis and brain trauma, her father, who caused those injuries, will sit in prison for the next six years.

Jerry Lee Scott admitted in court Thursday that he was drunk when he turned left in front of a pickup truck that collided with his car filled with family members, the Cobb district attorney’s office said in a news release.

Police found that Scott, 57, had a blood alcohol level of .195 — more than double the legal limit of .08 — when he made that turn at Veterans Memorial Highway and Austell Road on Feb. 5, Super Bowl Sunday.

“I recognize that Mr. Scott did not intend to harm his child. His intent was to drink alcohol, and he chose to drive the vehicle,” said prosecutor Patricia Hull.

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The girl, Scott’s youngest, was rushed to Egleston Children’s Hospital after the crash, according to a warrant.

“He has to live with knowing that he is responsible for causing these injuries, and the fact that she may never fully recover,” the prosecutor said.

In the Chrysler PT Cruiser with Scott were two other adult family members, along with Scott’s two daughters and granddaughter, the DA’s office said.

Prosecutors said this is Scott’s fourth time being arrested on DUI charges.

The DA’s office said he was convicted in Douglas County in 2009 of DUI and endangering a child, when he was driving with his daughter and granddaughter, who were an infant and a toddler at the time.

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“Scott has had a lot of opportunities over the years to make a change in his life, and he has failed to do so,” Hull said. 

He has been in jail since being arrested at the scene of the crash in February, Cobb jail records show.

Scott pleaded guilty to one charge of serious injury by vehicle and three counts of endangering a child while driving under the influence.

Scott’s defense attorney asked that the man serve part of his sentence on probation, but Cobb Superior Court judge Kimberly Childs made his sentence all prison time.

“My heart hurts for your family,” Childs said. “I have an obligation to protect the people of Cobb County. Your next victim may not survive.”

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In other Cobb news:

Marietta Police PIO Chuck McPhilamy talks about home invader shot and killed in Cobb County.
Video: John Spink/AJC

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